Rick Reilly kicks Jimmer Fredette while he’s down

Brigham Young Cougars’ guard Jimmer Fredette reacts during a break in overtime of his team’s play against the Florida Gators during their NCAA Southeast Regional college basketball game in New Orleans, March 24, 2011. REUTERS/Sean Gardner (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

Ah, Rick Reilly. We love him here at The Scores Report. Whenever Anthony and I get together for a drink or dinner we always start off with a moment of silence in honor of Sir Rick. (That’s what we call him.) Without Rick Reilly’s genius, neither of us would have ever become writers. It was Sir Rick who inspired us.

Juuuust kidding. Can’t stand the guy. He can write, and he’s the King of the Schmaltz, but we can’t stand the guy.

Example #247, his postmortem on the BYU/Florida game, entitled, “Jimmer grows dimmer.” (Like I said, genius.)

Except for a stretch in the middle, when he was brilliant, Fredette was brutal.

Yes, he scored 32 points, but he took 29 shots to do it. He seemed to be wearing a blindfold from the 3-point arc — 3-for-15. Plus, he committed six turnovers and wandered aimlessly through the lane on defense like Moses in the desert. I’ve seen dead people play better defense. At least they occasionally trip people.

If his last college game is what he’s bringing to the NBA, then I’d say, in five years, he’s got a really good chance to be your Provo area Isuzu dealer.

As Reilly notes later, Fredette played 44 minutes against Florida and is asked to carry most of the scoring load for his team. His defense is definitely suspect, but he can’t be expected to expend a lot of energy on that end of the court if his team needs him to score 40 points to win. Cut the guy some slack.

“He’s a little Maravich,” a guy in a BYU shirt told me.

No! No, he isn’t! He’s not within a mile of Mardi Gras floats of Maravich. Maravich could get his shot off from the bottom of a swimming pool. He could get 40 in handcuffs. He averaged 44 points a game in college (to Fredette’s 28 this season) and that’s without the 3-point shot. With it, studies of his game film have shown, he would have averaged over 55.

Of course he’s not Pete Maravich, but why is Reilly devoting precious column space on ESPN.com on the rambling delusions of a BYU fan? Fredette doesn’t have Maravich’s handle, though he does have a wide range of scoop shots that would make Pistol Pete proud.

It was one of Fredette’s worst shooting nights of the season, but he still managed to score 32 points and lead his team to overtime. Reilly only wants to kick him while he’s down.

Where was he when Jimmer dropped 52 points on New Mexico, or 43 in a home win against a very good San Diego State defense? Or even five days prior to the Florida loss, when Fredette hit 7-of-12 three-pointers en route to BYU’s 18-point win against a pretty hot Gonzaga team?

Shooters shoot. And sometimes they have a night like Jimmer did against Florida.

After all the kid has accomplished this season, why does Reilly feel the need to devote 900 words about what he’s not?

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Rick Reilly should stick to what he’s good at

No corny jokes.

No stale pop culture references.

Just a touching story about a Montana kid whose father was a big John Elway fan.

I’ll give props when props are due…

Good column, Rick.

Inside the mind of Rick Reilly

In an interview with Newsday.com, Rick Reilly discussed a number of different topics, including how he feels about sports blogs and his relationship with Bill Simmons.

“I don’t really go on the blogs, because they don’t really like anybody. Jesus could do a column and they’d be like, ‘What the hell is with the hair?’ It’ll always be something. Charles Barkley told me a long time ago always half the people are going to hate you and half the people are going to love you. If you suddenly change who you are, the other half will hate you. I don’t really care what people holding down couch springs do or say.”

I get it now. So since he has read some negative stuff on the blogs about his writing, bloggers must dislike everything. That makes perfect sense. Rick might want to consider that bloggers are just a subsection of his audience that actually has time to write about what they like and don’t like. Sure, there are blogs out there that just throw mud at everyone, but here at The Scores Report, there are writers we like and writers we don’t like.

He commented on his (outrageous) salary…

Read the rest after the jump...

Correcting Rick Reilly, Part 2: Rick wants coaches to show less class

Every issue of ESPN The Magazine ends the same way. I absolutely dread flipping to Rick Reilly’s back page column because it usually throws me into a state of depression. I can’t believe that ESPN is paying Reilly what they are when the guy can only produce a good, entertaining column once in a blue moon.

Reilly’s column for the Feb. 23 issue is no different. He starts off with a bad joke.

I’ve been fired more than pottery.


Hey, at least he didn’t shoehorn in some stale pop culture reference. I’ll give him that.

He then runs down his personal employment history, or at least those jobs that didn’t end well.

I was fired from my first job at 12. Some people apparently don’t want their tulips mowed. I was fired from my babysitting gig at 13. Who knew a diaper wouldn’t completely flush? Got fired as a machine/tool rental store assistant at 16. Thought the boss said, “Fifteen parts oil, one part gas in the jackhammers.” Turns out, it was the other way around. Pick-ee.

And how did I react whenever I got canned? Not well. Once, my pals and I egged the offending organization’s window front.

So he performs horribly at his job and reacts to getting fired by vandalizing his ex-employee’s place of business? Nice.

He then goes on about how coaches are too nice after they’ve been fired.

Read the rest after the jump...

Correcting ESPN The Mag, Part 1

Regular readers might be familiar with my occasional posts — “Correcting Bill Simmons” and “Correcting Rick Reilly” — where I try to help out my better-paid, less-informed counterparts by pointing out when/where they’re wrong. This time, I’m going to tackle ESPN The Mag as a whole. I know I’m going to hear some guy at the sports bar regurgitate this “analysis” as his own opinion and I won’t have the wherewithal to call him on it.

Let’s start with everyone’s favorite blowhard — and I doubt he’d take that as an insult given his commentary stylings — Stephen A. Smith. In his “Up Front” column, he criticizes Oscar De La Hoya for not knowing when to give it up.

Help, someone! Pretty Please!

It would be really nice if someone could muster some plausible explanation as to why a fighter like Oscar De La Hoya, beyond his prime for quite a while before the Manny Pacquiao bout, still chose to step into the ring and get his brains beat out. The mismatch was so obvious that Oscar’s wife, Millie, was screaming for him to quit before he had the common sense to do it himself.

It’s really easy to knock De La Hoya after the match is over when it’s clear that he shouldn’t have fought the fight. But one quick look at the pre-fight odds (-165 Hoya / +135 Pacquiao) reveals that this fight fooled a LOT of people, not just the Golden Boy. According to the betting public, De La Hoya was the clear favorite in the fight, so why would Oscar think that he was about to step into a beatdown? The betting public clearly doesn’t know everything, but it’s a pretty good gauge of public opinion and if the public is fooled, why would De La Hoya — who has an ego of a big-time fighter — know any better?

If Smith writes this column before the fight, I’d give him props. But this is classic kick-’em-while-they’re-down writing.

Let’s move on to Mike & Mike (Golic & Greenberg) who answer “The Big Question” — if the best players in college sports don’t make any noise in the pros, what’s their legacy?

Read the rest after the jump...

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